Illustration: Sam Woolley (GMG)
FunbagTime for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? [Email the Funbag](mailto:funbag.deadspin@gmail.com).   

Erica:

I recently returned to the college town where I spent 5 poverty-stricken years as a grad student. It was the weekend of the football team’s spring scrimmage, and I was meeting a few old friends for a long weekend of booze, catching up, and more booze. On the first evening, at one of our old favorite bars, one of my male friends managed to stumble on the topic of his habit of peeing on the bathmat after stepping out of the shower. Another male friend agreed this was a thing that was sometimes done. I was aghast when it became clear they weren’t just talking about a few stray drips—one of them uttered the phrase “a decent stream for a second or two.” I insisted they were disgusting lunatics, but they assured me it was totally fine since the bathmat was getting wet anyway.

Am I crazy or are they disgusting lunatics? These are 30-year-old men. Do all men do this? Does my husband do this?! Do I need to file for divorce?

My first thought here is that your friends are talking shit and don’t actually do this, mainly because I want to believe that I live in a world where no one intentionally does this. They can turn around and piss in the shower, while still standing on the bathmat, if they must piss somewhere during this drying off period. The decision to piss on your bathmat is the decision to stand on something that has grown spongey with your own piss. It is the decision to pick up your own piss-soaked bathmat and hang it over the side of your shower before later putting it in the wash. I don’t know your friends, but my hope is that they love themselves enough to not cycle between standing in their own piss and handling their own dried piss. Now I feel very upset?

That said, it is also possible that your friends have an undiagnosed medical problem causing frequent, urgent urination. If your friends can’t hold in their piss for the seconds required to dry off on their bathmats, it is possibly due to a health complication. Some options, according to the Urology Clinics of North Texas:

One of the more common causes of urinary frequency is a urinary tract infection (bladder or prostate). Frequent urination can be caused by prolapse of the bladder (dropped bladder). Sometimes urinary frequency can be caused by stones in the urinary tract. Bladder obstruction due to an enlarged prostate can lead to urinary frequency. The frequency can be caused by tumors in the bladder.

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Next reunion weekend, please ask your friends if they have prolapsed bladders. You might ask your husband this as well, in the moments before you tell him that you are divorcing him, which you should do just to be safe.

John:

What is the proper procedure for merging when two highway lanes become one? Common sense says motor down and wait for an opening and slide right in. But others are determined to wait till the ABSOLUTE last minute and come rocketing in and try to wedge themselves right in. Those people for the most part need to be put into the guardrail NASCAR-style. Thoughts?

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John, I am going to give it to you straight: I do not know how to drive. Still, my answer is to merge when the time is right, which your heart will know. When approaching the highway, try to center yourself. Move through some alternate nostril breathing. Ask yourself, aloud or silently: “Is it my time?” Listen for the answer, then merge. Stay safe out there!

Mark:

Do you prefer eating mac and cheese from a bowl or a plate? With a fork or a spoon? Bowl/fork is the way to go, imho

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I agree completely! Plate means chasing around stragglers or settling for the small mouthfuls afforded by forking alone on a flat surface. Spoon and bowl in this scenario, however, means eating like a little baby. Fork and bowl it is! There is also something so lovely and smooth about a bowl—dinnerware that works with you and not against you here. These are strange times for so many of us, and it is important to be kind to ourselves when we can. Enjoy the loving kindness of the bowl, Mark.

T. Jason:

How do I go about enjoying football while simultaneously sticking it to the man (Goodell and the team owners)?

There’s little I enjoy more than committing to watching 12+ hours of football every Sunday during the season but I really hate the idea that any of my hard earned money is going to supporting a bunch of fat old white guys. Don’t buy any official merchandise? Avoid any brands with game-day commercials?

I wonder if I’ll sleep better at night if I just swore off the game altogether but I have little to live for outside of my family and fantasy football championship trophies.

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This is a great question, T. Jason. Is there ethical consumption under capitalism? No, not really. And yet, we must consume, both for its basic material and social functions! This of course means all of our choices are compromised, but some more than others. I sense from your question that you already know which side of that scale the NFL finds itself on. The problem, as you no doubt already know, is not football itself. Friends playing football on a Saturday afternoon aren’t grievously injuring themselves or extorting localities for tax breaks. Safety and fairness is possible, or more possible, when people are put first. Instead, it is the grotesque commodification of football under the NFL and NCAA regimes that, vampire-like, extract everything they can from players and host cities before discarding them, that makes the sport unsafe and immoral. And all of this—the consequences gruesome and long-ranging—done in the service of an ownership class that already has unfathomable wealth. Terrible!

What to do, then? As a priest, I recommend that you unionize your workplace and donate money to any group providing direct service where there is a need in your community. Work resolutely to bring redistributive politics to your district, then your state, then Congress and the White House. As to the question at hand: Watch or don’t watch, it’s mostly a question about your feelings, since your individual action here—to maybe watch a Fixer Upper marathon instead of football—does not make a difference. Also, I see your question and raise you a question: Do football games really last 12 hours?

Nick:

Why am I smarter, funnier, more witty, charming (ha! as if), etc. when I’m drunk? Is this perhaps something that isn’t true but I’ve convinced myself is true? I had three (THREE!!) brilliant product ideas this weekend that in today’s lazy-ass society could very well make me a millionaire because all three of them involved taking an every day chore and making it easier. My friends even commented about how on fire I was (full disclosure, they were also drunk). This situation is not just a one-off. I am generally able to hold a conversation much better when inebriated, have very quick (and usually good) comebacks, and I do come up with these self-proclaimed great ideas from time to time.

Do you think there is some science that proves my theory, or is the obvious answer that people are much more loose when drunk? I gotta think there is something to this idea because, man, when I’m sober I am pretty much none of the above (shitty memory, slow responses, boring, awkward, you name it). Maybe I just need to live life as a functioning alcoholic?

Note #1: No, I will not share my ideas with you.

Note #2: I have not checked to see if there are products or patents similar to what I thought up, but in reality I’m probably the 3,487th person to think of them.

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Nick, it’s true that heavy drinking can act as a social lubricant, which you seem to recognize. Have you considered talk therapy to address what sounds like mild social anxiety and what could be a self-esteem problem? I bet you have great ideas all the time, Nick. Let them shine in the warm light of sobriety, or at least moderate drinking spaced out with seltzer.

Those things said, I recommend you patent your inventions or do whatever it is a person does to protect an invention so that nobody else can make their invention. Let me tell you my story so that you might learn from it: Four years ago, while sitting around a fire in Joshua Tree, I explained to a friend that I wanted to invent ketchup packets, but for tomato paste. I have never made a recipe that calls for more than 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, but most cans are 6 ounces, which amounts to 12 tablespoons. The toothpaste tubes of tomato paste aren’t a perfect solution, either, because the contents may expire before you’ve finished it. That’s wasted product. This is where ketchup packets, but for tomato paste, come in. So imagine my horror when, a year ago, I came across this shit in my local C-Town. Ketchup packets, but for tomato paste! Now, instead of being a millionaire many times over, I work at a website where I am writing to you about my deepest regrets!

HALFTIME!

Mark:

What would happen if, like in movies, someone from the past or future showed up in the present day? Would they be shunned or could they say/do something for society to believe them? I think a Donald Trump tweet suffice for some people. What about scenarios like Big or Freaky Friday, where people change bodies?

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I think this past or future person would get institutionalized, incarcerated, or shot, unfortunately. It brings me no joy to tell you this is what I think.

Cameron:

Assuming I live for 50 more years will I ever see the shopping cart improvement that stops that one god damn front tire from vibrating and pulling me off to the side?!? My great grandma had to deal with this shit, I shouldn’t have to!

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Cameron, I hear your frustration! Not to minimize it, but you are lucky to shop at a supermarket large enough to accommodate a shopping cart. My local supermarket is small and chaotic, aisles narrow. I pull around a rolling basket, dejected. Half a woman. I long for the wide open aisles of a spacious supermarket. When I am shopping in such a setting—say, the Super Stop & Shop in Yonkers, which contains a florist and a pharmacy, or the Fairway Market in Douglaston, Queens, which sells 50 varieties of olives and makes bagels on the premise—there is no way a faulty tire could bring me down.

But to answer your question, I think that the wheel carts are going to stick around until all the supermarkets close because Amazon has wiped them out, replaced by terrible drones zipping through the sky to bring you shit from a warehouse staffed by workers making low, non-union wages. If this comes to pass, you will miss the subtle vibration of a wheel moving off its track and the gentle forearm flex required to right it. Do you remember the feeling of picking up a landline as a teenager? The need to shout, “Mom, phone!” from across the room? You will miss it like you miss that.

Kevin:

I don’t watch much basketball during the season, but with a break in the NHL playoffs I popped on the Warriors vs. Rockets last night and was AMAZED at how long Kevin Durant’s arms are. So the question is, How much of his own back can Kevin Durant lotion? And besides him, which athlete do you think can lotion the greatest % of their back themselves? No tools, hands only obviously. For me (the slightly less than average man) based on sun burnt back incidents I probably cover about 52% of my own back. This also brings up a disturbing thought that most people are relying solely on water to wash their backs since they surely cannot reach and soap the entire area. We’re all walking around with filthy backs, except of course Kevin Durant, who I’m sure can perfectly soap, scrub and rinse his entire back.

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My arms are average length, and I have a small but proportional back in terms of the rest of my body. I attempted this at home, and here are my findings: I can reach probably 97 percent of my back. Can Kevin Durant reach 97 percent of his back, minus the sliver of upper middle back that requires a kind of desperate side-hand to reach? I doubt it. I do yoga and gentle strength training with some regularity, which I believe helps comfortably extend my reach. Eat shit, Kevin Durant!!!!!

Ryan:

How long until one of those surprise carpool game shows like “Carpool Karaoke” or “Cash Cab” has a wreck and all future carpool game shows are cancelled?

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I don’t believe tragedy on its own is much of a force here. In the event of a terrible accident, there would have to be a mass movement to help bring about the end of Carpool Karaoke and other car-based shows. Targeting advertisers, perhaps. Maybe seizing the CBS studios. I guess, then, that the answer to this question depends on all of us, Ryan. If tragedy strikes, and James Corden continues to drive recklessly, how long could we stand it before taking action?

Email of the week!

Taylor:

How long is it before restaurants/diners/etc should stop advertising the fact that they were on Food Network or whatever? I ask because I live near Philadelphia, where there’s a big farmer’s market on the outskirts of the city, and one of the stalls there has a sign that says they were on some TV food show in 2000, and that’s a prominent part of that stall’s advertising. Is there anyone nowadays who has realistically seen a rerun of that show and gone “Honey, you know where we should go?”

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Occasionally, often in times of stress, I watch reruns of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives as a kind of sedative. Some dating back to 2010, 2011. Many of the places featured have no doubt since closed down. Still, last summer, before a trip to Boston, I said these exact words to my boyfriend: “I wonder if I’ll have time to go to the taco place from Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.” Can you leave the name of this food stall in the comments? I might visit.